If Adichie’s book was half of a yellow sun then this adaptation merely cowers under its imposing shadow.
Bandele’s theatre background shows in the basic and unimaginative direction and his screenplay struggles with the unenviable task of adapting a dense novel, rich in psychological detail. The result is simply a chronicle of the events of the book, with little of the drama or emotion.
An overwrought score and mishandled tone leave this feeling like an empty soap opera rather than the fierce drama it could’ve been. Ejiofor and Boyega give solid performances, but Rose in particular feels horribly out of place.
There’s nothing terrible about Half of a Yellow Sun, but not much good either. A powerful novel has been neutered.
CAST: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Joseph Mawle, Anika Noni Rose, John Boyega
DIRECTOR: Biyi Bandele
WRITERS: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (novel), Biyi Bandele (screenplay)
SYNOPSIS: A drama following the lives and loves of four people during the Biafran War in Nigeria in the ’60s.